In a world where celebrities bloviate for days both online and off about what they think everyone needs to know regarding the politics of America, the social issues on their mind at the time, and also just plain drivel, it’s refreshing to have men like Tom Selleck.
It’s been over 40 years that Selleck has been on the silver screen and the last seven years have brought him into our homes regularly through his hit show Blue Bloods.
But it’s not just what Selleck is doing on-camera that is garnering respect, but what he stands for off-camera.
The traditionally conservative celebrity took a surprising stand this election cycle and it’s something that I can’t help but praise him for. His choice for President was an interesting one.
Before we tell you who his choice was, you need to know how he arrived at this surprising decision.
Tom Selleck’s conservative ways aren’t something that arose overnight. In fact, they were built over years of commitment, dedication, and service to his country — both on screen and off.
Upon graduating high school in 1962, Selleck had his heart set on enrolling at the University of Southern California, but wasn’t able to afford tuition. So instead, Selleck enrolled in Valley Junior College, worked hard, saved money, and earned a basketball scholarship which helped offset tuition after enrolling in USC in his junior year.
Selleck played for the Trojans men’s basketball team at USC and was also a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. But in order to earn a living and support himself, Selleck began working as a model. It was throughout those college years that Selleck developed a strong work ethic and God’s plan for his life quickly began to reveal itself.
It was at USC, while majoring in business administration, that he entered the world of Hollywood after a drama coach suggested that Selleck take a stab at acting. Young Tom’s first TV appearance was as a college senior on The Dating Game in 1965, and again in 1967. And it wasn’t long before he appeared in dozens of commercials for popular products such as Pepsi-Cola.
Selleck’s first television commercial was for a deodorizing soap that promised “naturally clean-smelling skin,” known as SafeGuard. And it was a smashing success as Selleck’s charm and charisma wooed the hearts of countless women across America.
After working with Selleck, the commercial’s director, Robert Sallin, loved Tom so much he decided to give him the suit and entire wardrobe used in the commercial. Sallin shared, “He [Tom] was so terrific, I gave him the wardrobe. He told me many years later that it was his only suit and he wore it for every casting interview.”
After graduating from USC, Selleck went on to study acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse under Milton Katselas. Twentieth Century Fox soon approached him to join their talent program. Selleck signed on, and worked hard to learn the art of acting.
Selleck shared, “I think, when I went to Fox, I was on my own with no frame of reference, no connection. I’d never done a play in my life. I started at about thirty-five bucks a week, and every six months you either got fired or renewed. If you got renewed, you got a raise on their term contracts.”
Selleck’s opportunity at Fox gave the young actor a shot at stardom, but Selleck would temporarily take a break for a much bigger purpose. It was during that time that America found itself in the middle of the Vietnam War and Selleck was issued draft orders.
Selleck proudly joined the California National Guard in the 160th infantry regiment and served from 1967 to 1973.
Selleck later appeared on California National Guard’s recruiting posters. And although Selleck only served for six years, his service to America left a strong impression on the aspiring actor and it proved to forever deepen his sense of American pride.
Selleck shared, “I am a veteran, I’m proud of it, I was a sergeant in the U.S. Army infantry, National Guard, Vietnam era. We’re all brothers and sisters in that sense.”
Selleck did six months active duty in the middle of his time at Fox, but upon returning to civilian life, the talent program let him go. Tom was heartbroken to return from serving his country only to discover that he was fired, but Selleck trusted God’s plan.
For the next eleven years, Selleck continued to pursue acting and worked fervently on six pilots for television shows that would never amount to anything special. By this time, Selleck was in his 30’s and earning a very modest living. But despite delays in landing his ‘big break,’ Selleck refused to give up and continued to put in the hard work.
In 1980, after over a decade of challenges and disheartening let-downs, 35-year-old Selleck was finally offered the lead role as the Hawaii-based private investigator known as “Thomas Magnum” in Magnum, P.I. — the role that would forever change the course of his life.
Selleck promptly moved to Hawaii, but before Magnum P.I. could begin shooting, a writers’ strike delayed filming. The strike meant that Tom Selleck was without work and without pay. Desperate to earn a living, Selleck began working for his landlord as a handyman, making only $7 dollars an hour in order to make ends meet.
It was during that painstaking 6-month-span that Selleck was offered the lead role as “Indiana Jones” in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Magnum’s producers wouldn’t release Selleck for other projects, so Tom Selleck faced a challenging decision.
Would he go back on his word and cancel his 13-episodes pilot contract with Magnum P.I. in order to to secure a lead role in a big-budget Hollywood film? Despite six failed pilot series in his past and over a decade of setbacks, Selleck took his father’s advice that “a man is only as good as his word”. Selleck turned down Raiders, remained true to his word, and the part went to Harrison Ford.
But over time, Selleck’s choice proved to be the right one. Magnum P.I. was instantly successful as countless loyal viewers across America tuned in to watch the tall, dark, sensitive, and handsome detective with a red Ferrari.
Selleck’s award-winning role in Magnum P.I. redefined what a true leading man looked like. Selleck’s endearing strength, charm, laid-back demeanor, and humor resonated in the hearts of both men and women alike.
Magnum P.I. might have been the launch point for Selleck’s career, but he’s followed it up with countless stellar roles that have left enduring marks on the hearts and minds of his audience including Jesse Stone and more recently as NYPD Police Chief Frank Reagan on Blue Bloods.
So it should be no surprise considering his patriotism and admiration for the police force who Selleck says he voted for in this president election. Instead of choosing Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, Selleck had an interesting choice as his presidential pick.
Selleck has appeared on The View almost since the beginning of the show, but this time he had something to say. When asked who he voted for during the election, Selleck admitted that he wrote in former Dallas Police Chief David Brown as his pick for the office of the President
“That man showed such grace and leadership. I was just deeply touched by him,” said Selleck.
But it was how Selleck spoke about the state of the nation and the people involved in the election that really impressed me.
“I was so impressed with President Obama, Mrs. Clinton, and Donald Trump for showing the grace to remind us that we have more in common than we have differences,” he said. “And this grace period, if we have it… it’s going to heat up again. It’s just very important to celebrate the fact that we do this peacefully. It’s rough, but we do it.”
Selleck went on to say how he doesn’t feel like he can use his platform to bring political statements or influence. And it’s admirable of Selleck to speak with eloquence and graciousness in a way that doesn’t bring further division to our nation.
Some might question why Selleck would choose Chief Brown as his presidential pick, but his leadership in Dallas following the shooting in July showed his true colors.
After five Dallas police officers were gunned down following a peaceful protest, for hours the country watched in horror as the Dallas Police Department worked to bring the cop-killer to justice, eventually using a bomb-armed robot to take him out after negotiations broke down.
As the nation looked to what the City of Dallas would do, Dallas Police Chief David Brown acted as a pillar of strength, not only for the community he serves, but for the country as a whole. In the midst of absolute tragedy, Chief Brown never lost sight of his duties. In fact, he even issued a challenge to the entire city, and more specifically, those who are protesting against police departments throughout the country:
“Don’t be a part of the problem. We’re hiring. Get out of the protest line and put an application in. We’ll put you in your neighborhood.”
Chief Brown says that although the job can oftentimes be thankless, he still goes home every day with a sense of accomplishment, and pride:
“I love serving. Out of all the crap we have to take as police officers, the satisfaction you get from serving is … gratifying.”
Chief Brown retired from his post and many wondered if his motivation was to possibly run for elected office. Even though it doesn’t appear he has plans for a candidacy, that didn’t stop Selleck from making Chief Brown his presidential pick.
It’s strong men like Chief Brown and Tom Selleck that remind me that we have hope for America. When many people seem to be in turmoil, it’s men like these who will stand up for truth, justice, and doing what is right that inspires me. Thank you Tom for being a beacon in our nation!